Sycamore is the largest maple in Europe growing to a height of 40m and trunk girth of 1.5m with a round topped growth habit. Sycamore is not a native British tree but was believed to be brought into the country by the Romans. Widely recognised as a “robust” species capable of withstanding exposure in most soils, industrial pollution and salt laden winds along the coast. High seed yields that germinate profusely.
Culture for Sycamore
Tolerant to most soil conditions but prefers a high mycorrhizal fungi content which absorb and pass on minerals required for growth. Mycorrhizal fungi are present in all natural soils but not in suburban areas in towns and cities.
Concerns about Sycamore
Subject to attack from ‘Sooty bark’ disease, caused by a fungus. Tar spot is common on leaves, which causes no major damage but does reduce the leaf photosynthetic area. Anthracnose and verticillium wilt are other fungal infections, which damage and weaken sycamores. Squirrels can be problematic. Aphids are prolific sap suckers that have little impact on a healthy, well-established tree but can prove dangerous to younger less developed trees causing the yellowing and wilting of leaves.
Management Practices for Sycamore
Apply insecticide/fungicide/phosphite treatments to suppress pests and diseases especially aphids. Spring insecticide sprays are critical to control aphid populations. Apply fertilisers and soil treatments based on soil test results ideally in spring or autumn. Root collar excavate if trees are planted too deep. Inspect for animal damage, especially squirrels and apply repellent to tree trunk and branches.